11:20AM | 07/13/02
Member Since: 07/12/02
4 lifetime posts
We're in zone 5 of Massachusetts and have been plagued with chipmunks eating 85% of our tomatoes for the past two years. We've tried everything we could think of including fly paper thumb tacked to the rims of our raised planting beds, fake owls and sonic devices. Have-a-heart traps haven't worked (the chipmunks manage to free themselves). Short of killing them or using something not organic, do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your reply.


09:36AM | 11/05/02
Member Since: 10/15/02
359 lifetime posts
Garlic and lots of it. Get a few bulbs from the grocers and plant them al around the bed, the smell will keep the critters away.


03:46AM | 11/06/02
Member Since: 07/12/02
4 lifetime posts

I've had many responses at another site, but no one suggested garlic.

This year, I tried soybeans for the first time. They were an attractive plant and I looked forward to making edamame (soybeans boiled in salted water in their skins - supposedly very popular as a snack food in Japan). I noticed one pod had the 'chipmunk mark of attack' on it. The next day, every single soybean had been eaten.

I can't thank you enough for this suggestion. It may save tomatoes, soybeans and other vegetables from attack.

Thanks for restoring my hope!

Jim D

11:26PM | 11/06/02
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
HGT3 - hi, I saw something in one of Jerry Baker's book ads that may be of help. If you have a cat, you can take its fur/hair off the brush you use to brush it, and deposit the hair around the plants. Supposedly, that works excellent for rabbits as well.

The Hav-a-hart live traps you mentioned are probably for squirrels and not chipmunks, if the chipmunks are getting out. The wire mesh that the trap is made from has openings too large - the chipmunks can wriggle through very small openings. The trap doors typically have a small latching mechanism to hold the door shut once the trap's gone off. (I've used these types of traps before on everything from squirrels to raccoons...)

Anyway - if you have pets, and you can save their fur/hair after brushing them, it might be a solution. Good luck!

Jim D/Heathsville, VA


04:03AM | 11/07/02
Member Since: 07/12/02
4 lifetime posts
Thanks, Jim, for your suggestions.

The Hav-a-hart traps we used were for mice which we've successfully trapped in our cellar.

However, in the garden, we'd find them upended the next morning with the trap door opened and the food inside gone.

This happened so many times, it was clearly a pattern.

I'd also heard of the idea of pet fur, but that, too, failed.

Years ago, we tried to grow strawberries in front of our large living room window.

When the berries were nearing the ripening stage, we put out the fur of our 3 cats and 2 dogs (one of which was a collie).

We watched these little chipmunk devils check out the fur cautiously and then proceeded to walk on top of it and 'dine' on 7 strawberries.

Within 2 days, all the strawberries were gone.

That was 15 years ago and the chipmunk problem has only grown worse and expanded to more crops.

Someone offered the suggestion that the chipmunks were looking for water when chewing into the tomatoes. We put out many shallow bowls of water (30 bowls), but the tomatoes were still eaten.

I nevertheless thank you for your suggestions because they might help some other people who don't have as bold chipmunks as we do.


06:58AM | 05/30/13
My step dad devised an electrical shock when squirrels and chipmunks stepped up to get into the bird seed. I know this is going to sound cruel, but it does not kill them, it merely shocks them and they learn quickly to keep away. Not sure how you could do this, unless you took strips of metal and attached them in say, a frame and placed it around your strawberry bed. Then attach low current electricity to the metal. Unplug it when you need to enter and it keeps them off. Occasionally there will be a new comer, and it usually only happens once for them to learn. Sounds pretty drastic, but like I said, it doesn't kill them, and they learn quickly. It's worth trying.


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